tv [untitled] December 12, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm EST
well you did if you are the occupy wall street movement is rocking the boat this time they're trying to shut down ports up and down the west coast with one simple message for us government shape up or ship out. they want people to be able to have freedom of speech but they don't want the freedom to interfere with them anyway and it looks like the freedom of assembly might not be so free here in the us thanks to over excessive police force so as raid after raid continues to happen at oncotype protests are t. ask whose interest are police protecting and serving. and while police forces
play dirty president obama is trying to play nice with iraqi prime minister al maliki today trying to coerce him away from the so-called dark side another country on america's long list of enemies iran but that is easier said than done so eight years and billions of dollars later what did the u.s. actually actually achieve in the iraq war. it is monday december twelfth four pm here in washington d.c. and christine you're watching r t well let's begin this afternoon with the latest moves in the occupy wall street movement over the weekend two camps in major metropolitan cities were shut down. you see here these are police in boston very early saturday morning taking apart the occupy camp there protesters had been there about two and a half months and only fifty people were arrested and it was
a similar scene in san francisco late last week although there seventy people were arrested when this is safe police in riot gear came to the camp it gave protesters a five minute warning to clear the area and clear the rest of the camp and themselves police then apparently tore down the more than one hundred tents and threw the rest of the protesters belongings into a garbage truck. all right so clearly this is a ramped up effort by police and other authorities around the country to put a stop to the occupation aspect of this movement but those who are a part of the movement say no worries they have some strategies in the works anyways this morning in new york city protesters stood outside the goldman sachs headquarters building and i'm not sure we have the video there it is there's a giant squid that protesters are carrying blow up squid this is in reference to rolling stone journalist mattei evey's description of goldman sachs as a quote great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money that's what they
think goldman sachs but we want to take a look at what you're seeing here and these are protesters in oakland just part of the major chord unaided effort to cripple business and industry many call wall to wall street on the waterfront and the goal here is to shut down ports from san diego to alaska you're looking at a map of all the ports occupy wall street protesters are expected to gather at today the port of anchorage the port of los angeles the port of long view maui the port of port twenty the port of oakland portland and the port of san diego and seattle and tacoma and last but not least the port of vancouver and this is a major effort and we want to talk about what it means and how effective it has been now to talk about all of this today artie's among the window in los angeles artie's losing half an hour here in washington and also journalist ali winston in oakland california and ali i want to start with you the port shut down today this is a sort of expanded version of what we saw in oakland back in november what are you
seeing and hearing from those involved about how everything's going or was there this morning around five thirty am there was a group of about three to six hundred people who it was that the it was a border station the regional rep insurance. system and then morphed from there out of oakland which is about. of there also corps and most of the city people. there in there was a it was a couple stand offs with wives of rivalries outside groups that opens about three different sections three different marches having to walk eight different birds where there were ships heard they were ships that i wrote. some code and there were a couple tense moments where there were stand offs with oakland police and alameda county sheriff's deputies by and large it was peaceful there were no arrests there no clashes that i saw and as of this morning port officials are saying that at least half of the terminals are have been shut down the lever on the trigger is actually ruled that is
a unsafe work environment and the warm children kid there who are not coming to work or they could leave work if they're still at the terminal so right now there's been a real serious disruption to economic activity the port au prince today and we should mention as a side note one veteran scott olsen who was injured critically injured during the protests in oakland was expected to be there i don't know if you saw him ali he was expected to be there as part of that protest or not i want to go to you i know you were up early in the morning covering the activity in l.a. it was a success was it a failure what did you say. well what we're hearing this morning from both the protesters and the police they're both declaring victory now the protesters say that they are victorious because they were able to disrupt traffic although it may have only been for a couple of hours they there was definitely a backup at one of the gates unfortunate for the protesters logistically the porter down in long beach is just massive so trucks were able to use alternate routes to
get in but their point was not so much to shut down things economically now the demonstration there in long beach happened outside of s.s. a marine which is heavily. or partially owned by goldman sachs so they were very much trying to point out the fact that this marine terminal may not be treating its workers fairly in the words of the protesters and they also want to point out the fact that goldman sachs was a large recipient of bailouts and lastly they also want to point out that being one of the largest and busiest ports in america we're seeing so many goods being imported into america yet these days it seems to them that a lot of goods are not being made here in the usa so there is an imbalance when it comes to trade so these issues were brought up during the protests and in the eyes of the protesters despite the fact that the entire port wasn't shut down this was
definitely a small success for them and definitely showed their resiliency letting people know that even though their encampment was torn down they still continue intend to continue to protest and to put out the message of income inequality and corporate greed i think that's a that's a really good point and lucy i want to talk to you about that aspect of it a lot of these camps have been torn down have been dismantled in what seems to be coronated effort by police around the country to do this so occupy the occupy aspect might be changing and shifting again but i want to talk about. what's what we're seeing here let's first talk about just about this idea to shut down the ports how does this kind of go along with the message of the occupy wall street movement shutting down ports well i mean it's an act of economic destruction and it's intended to sort of hit the one percent goldman sachs which over a large companies that own these ports where they hurt the most and if money if money speaks then doing these kinds of actions even if they're semi-successful certainly get national attention but the point that you raised earlier with sort of
you know these occupations physically losing their spaces i mean it is significant in the sense that physically being there is part of what defines it like is that occupy right it keeps it relevant to the press it keeps tourists local citizens etc focused on the movement but i think at the same time the raids almost achieved a really beneficial thing for the occupy wall street movement in the sense that they no longer have to focus on defending their space and maintaining you know the territory and sort of focus more on planning these kinds of large scale actions and you know this is just the beginning these kinds of actions are just the beginning if they have to winter just sort of go through tactics and and figure out what works and what doesn't i think that we can see actual severe significant economic attacks on the economy in a sense just the beginning but we've already seen of course some of the occupy foreclosed homes that we've seen in these actions at the actual banks so it is it's really the start of kind of a new chapter in this movement ali i want to bring you back into this discussion and talk have you talk about the union aspect of all this i know that occupy
demonstrators in california they were hoping to get the support of the international longshore and warehouse union this didn't totally happen and i know some cable networks a lot of the mainstream media playing this up as you know the unions reject occupy wall street can you kind of break this down for us the relationship between the occupy movement and the unions and what they were hoping to do and what they actually did do. sure will the action that's been to the shutdown of the west coast ports is actually in solidarity with i.o.w. local open longview washington which back about a month ago has very serious clashes with riot police over their refusal to let a group of grain be offloaded in their terminal in long eternal because the family been stabbed by evidence that by scab labor a company name bunji international ltd decided they didn't want to pay your wages so they were going to try and get in and they were going to try and get new labor
into the terminal so there's been a lot of union participation on kind of the. you know on a less a lower level there's been a lot of pain in part spatial i love you members actually come out and help organize a session and the problem with the use of international is that they have a clause in their contract that says they can't strike so this denial of the internationals and this action is actually sponsored by the idea of the e.u. it's true but at the same time they can't go out and say that they're in support of the action because then they will be sections for them from the national labor review board for them from. as a result of their contract so there is actually very strong new participation in this a lot of the workers that i spoke to the unionized workers in the poor the long term and so there are very they're in support of the action but they're getting screwed over by the by the channel owners access a which you mentioned earlier in the snow. and their profit margins are getting you know they're they're getting squeezed it for everything down from there they're
weatherized coats that they used to that the company used to furnish down to from there to there's no more christmas party there's no more televisions and they're in there in their thought so as a result there is there's a very strong sense of the workers in oakland that the action is being done for them and it's not the tension is that it exists are mostly between the unions. krauts and the poor people who are actually controlling or the orders of the already and the protestors the rank and file seem to do largely and or this i read from a lot of them that it was very difficult for them to try to imagine crossing a picket line but they did also have to sort of do with what was better for the greater good i guess you could say ramon wondering if you what you sino you spoke to a lot of people you mentioned earlier that a lot of them sort of saw this as a victorious day was there any concerns though from the protestors that you heard from no there is definitely
a couple of concerns first of all the very very strong police response now many of these protesters believe that they were just exercising their first amendment rights in a public space now what we saw today in long beach were four different law enforcement agencies which steamed up in huge numbers in order to quell those protests and they were successful after several hours in pushing back the protesters away from their gates but there was also quite a bit of. just uncertainty about whether they will eventually get support from the unions now as he was mentioning earlier many of the union members on an individual bases do want to show support but again the union itself. told protesters that this may not have been the best method to protest and what we saw today were not the huge numbers that we saw at the oakland poor protests just last
month so some of the protesters they are concerned that the numbers were not as large however they said they were still very encouraged because despite the rain despite the cold weather we saw hundreds of people and not just here on the west coast and we were hearing reports from vancouver and canada we're hearing reports from houston texas i mean and this is a coordinated effort which could have been even larger had of the unions joined in now so there's still that concern they're still trying to convince some of those union members to join into the protests but for the most part they are very encouraged about what's going to happen next hour and finally see one of the main reasons we brought you in here is because you spent so much time at occupy wall street in new york at zuccotti park you spend some time in oakland i want to get your broader take about what's next where is this movement headed from here i think the biggest the biggest thing that we're going to expect is a huge i would describe what's happened today as sort of a warm up street movement exploded faster than anyone believed it would there sort
of dipping their toe in the water and getting a feel for their strength and the power i think that the winter months are going to be used to to plan a lot of coordinated actions and activities similar to what we've seen today but on a much larger scale and when the president obama's reelection campaign wraps up next in the coming spring i think that is when we're going to see the explosion of this movement out of an unprecedented scale that's my personal connection certainly the winter again time to be planning on not so much a good time to be freezing outside in the cold. right artie's were among the lindo in los angeles half an hour right here in d.c. with me and journalist only winston in oakland california. and one of the central chapters of the occupy wall street story is of course the role of police the role that they've played in this movement not only of even the ones to sent in to dismantle the occupy camps around the country they have also been caught on camera using weapons on protesters from pepper spray to tear gas to rubber bullets and their endeavors have been quite expensive according to
a new survey by the excess associated press and found that approximately spent over just over two months now thirteen million dollars with eighteen cities surveyed most of that money if it turns out was spent on overtime and other municipal services and to get an idea of how that was all divvied up i want you to take a look at some of those cities and the breakdown of how much each city spent of course new york spent more than half of the total spending seven million dollars followed by oakland and denver and portland but you know it's not the money as much as the treatment of these protesters who call themselves the ninety nine percent that is brought about so much attention is also highlighted a larger issue police brutality in america and has raised the question of who police are actually working for as our g. correspondent marine important discovers they may not be the one percent but when it comes to who they protect and serve it's often the one percent that reaps the benefits. when the very people employed to protect americans.
leave thousands of bodies. burned i was. locked behind bars tasting their own blood. the land of the free adopts an entirely new image probably the most. part for so. far you've joined the force. for someone. not just walking. in recent months u.s. police officers have made an enemy. of those citizens using their freedom of speech to protest against corporate greed and corrupt politics today's breed of american law enforcement is dressed in riot gear and armed with heavy weaponry body armor flash bangs tear gas and lethal projectiles. as tens of thousands of americans assemble cops have been accused of grieving confrontation not
diffusing it was. only. a level of police brutality so bad a former marine sergeant couldn't stay silent when i was. a little veteran who survived two tours in iraq was seriously injured by local police officers using flash grenades canisters against occupy protesters but you know that you know twenty four year old scott olsen this hospitalized with serious head injuries. seattle the oldest victim of the families turned paramilitary was an eighty four activist temporarily blinded by pepper spray the united states which bills itself as the pillar of international law and democratic. has consistently released itself on the world stage as the self-appointed beacon of
moral authority we call on the iranian government to abide by the international obligations. to respect the rights of its own people instead of respecting the rights of his own. without the chose the path of brutal suppression. innocent civilians were imprisoned in some cases meanwhile at home as dissent in america grows louder many say washington's glasshouse of hypocrisy has shown beautiful symmetry they want people to be able to have freedom of speech but they don't want that freedom to interfere with them in any way to be in any way disruptive or challenging is to them the line that conditionally separated us soldiers from civilian law enforcement has arguably been overeats placed by what's being dubbed the american militarization of police tock tick tock tick for nature in the
foundation of american principles such as democracy and human rights is that leave the same principles to us here in all other countries about arena or not arts in new york. so i have here on our phase one to invade iraq for some regime change spend billions of american taxpayer dollars in the meantime face to kiss a new prime minister's ring and beg him to pick the u.s. over iran what could possibly go wrong that story coming up next. in turn only military mechanisms that do not work to bring justice or accountability. i have every right to know what my government should do if you want to know why i pay taxes. i would characterize obama as a charismatic version of american exceptionalism. well
it was a celebration of sorts at the white house today president obama met with iraqi prime minister nouri al maliki to discuss the end of the war in iraq and what's next for the two countries in terms of diplomacy security and trade we're here to mark the end of this war to honor the sacrifices of all those who made this day possible and to turn the page. begin a new chapter in the history between our countries and this is of course what the camera saw what was discussed on the surface but today we want to take a look at some of the deeper issues here associated with u.s. troops leaving iraq and in particular how this new chapter affects the future nearly all the troops will be gone by the end of the year but there is already talk of trainers coming back to teach iraqis and the handful of troops that will remain will do so at the embassy which is actually expanding and more than sixteen
thousand contractors and government officials will also stay so yes the troops are leaving but the u.s. is a long way from being totally gone from iraq right as a blogger and iraqi political american political activist and is here to talk about this and let's start with today's meeting let's not forget you know president obama campaigned against the war in iraq campaign against wanting to pull all the troops off but today he said he called iraq quote a model for others who are aspiring to build democracy. talk about that statement and what that how you interpret that i don't think president obama himself believes that iraq is the way they say it but i think the u.s. is trying to spin what's going on put some happy ending there is nothing happy about what happened in iraq iraq is not a modern court and we think it's a destroyed nation one million iraqis were killed in the last eight years and five million were displaced you know i was born in baghdad spent most of my time to
graduated from the university the last time i went to baghdad i did not know a single person in the entire city every single person who i know it was either killed or moved out of the city it's a disaster iraq continues to be a disaster. you know billions of dollars from the u.s. side and from the iraq and destroyed the u.s. image around the world knows the stupid spin to do. to make this seem as a success i don't think anyone believes that and despite all these points that you've brought i prayed there are some who believe that what we saw in iraq you know going into this war under false pretenses building in democracy quote unquote that this is a model that will carry on for the future i mean do you think this do you think that not just in the arab world but in the arab world in particular but just for the rest of the world do you think that this is sort of a model that the u.s. will follow in the future not at all i think it was a very hard lesson that the u.s.
and other countries would think about it learned that the hard way especially that this is happening this year the. springs were many people argue for decades i argued for the last ten years that the u.s. should not have invaded iraq and that iraqis would have had the capacity to change their political regime by themselves and that was not theoretical anymore now we see it this is practical this is what what this is what egyptians that this is what . and this is what many others arabs would be doing in the region getting rid of their dictators without for another's invading and occupying their country is i don't think iraq is a model of anything unfortunately there is a political process going on but that's a proper broken political process and although many people including myself voted in this political process we understand its shortcomings we understand the fact
that the iraqi people forces are not being presented in a transparent method so iraq has a long way to go until it has a functioning democracy and you call this a hard lesson that the u.s. had to learn other countries as well. a hard lesson but looking back right i mean didn't they know it didn't the bush administration state department officials theeye a all the military officials military intelligence on the ground i mean when you talk about democracy and going to another country. democracy it seems to me there are some basic lessons there lessons about culture about geography about history of this place of iraq that either were not taken into account or that were ignored when it came time to actually get those goals those stated goals accomplished what do they know when you see we can't assume that there was a good intention to bring real democracy to iraq not everything that the us
government says they mean you know that for four decades they changed their reasons for the us intervention in iraq we shouldn't forget the military intervention started more than twenty years ago. in one nine hundred ninety one. give so many reasons democracy was one of them i don't think there was a sincere effort to bring democracy there are so many solid examples on the ground there true that the us either said combat circumvented or blocked the iraqi democratic system when iraqis tried to fight against the us interests when the iraqis wanted the us to believe the us tried its best to circumvent the system and state when iraqis wanted to elect their representatives the us tried its best to select their friends and keep them on board so it wasn't a sincere process to start with and it was a third year because as you mentioned the majority of iraqis including myself did
not believe that the moccasin will come on us thanks i want to i want to expand this from just the us iraq relationship to the broader picture the sort of global chessboard here and let's talk about iran and syria certainly president obama has called for syrian president bashar al assad to step down more than four thousand people apparently have been killed in those in those protests and then there's the matter of iran and the relationship between the u.s. and iran i want to get your take i mean if there is a war and it involved it involves the u.s. and iran whose side does iran. take and why have they not been more supportive of the u.s. . sort of thoughts about syria this is another symptom i think it's another sign and prove that the us policy in iraq mr ugly because now the us is leaving and. we have in iraq we have a failed state that is run by political parties loyal to iran mostly. the current iraqi political regime is not very friendly with the us but it's very
friendly with iran so if a war theoretically erupts between the u.s. and iran the current iraqi regime will most definitely take your chance and we saw now how with the events in syria there are. government took the syrian government so it was the only government in the arab world actually you know other than lebanon voted against sanctions on syria and they continue to supply syria with embargoed materials like hardware and software used to censor. internet censorship that is being brought from the u.s. and sold to syria by the iraqi government so it's another example of the strategic failure of the united states in iraq we're out of time thanks so much a blogger an iraqi american political activist raija rare and we are out of time but for more on the stories we covered that r.t.
dot com slash usa or check out our youtube page at youtube dot com slash r t america you can follow me on twitter at christine for sound capital account with lauren lyster coming up next. culture is that so much i was about the feeling that i was in a war going to really be i was told almost immediately on a collapse of the soviet union twenty years ago the commonwealth of independent states would stop us from its original intent seen by many as.